“We sent him the money, he gave us the code to open the lock box, we got the keys and garage door openers, and he told us to move in.”
Renters fraud happens more often than you would think. Cindy and Mauro experienced rental fraud after they decided to rent a home from the “landlord” who ended up scamming them into renting a property for a much lower price than it is valued and that wasn’t his. Later on a rental agent stopped by asking what were they doing here and after dicussing the situation they were forced to move.
So how do you spot a rental scammer before falling for their ruse? Usually a scammer will contact you through email from a Fabricated Ad you responded through craigslist. They will ask you for your personal information such as a social security number or request a background check. Another red flag to look for is asking for a upfront payment before you even go see the property.
There are several ways you can check if a property is the real deal. First look up the address of the property online to check if it really exists, a lot of con artists will use a fake address. Also always make sure your transactions are made in person or at least by phone. Many overseas scammers will use excuses as to why they can’t show you the property in person because they are traveling. When you make a deal with a scammer who claims to own the property, make sure they provide proof of ownership and a copy of their drivers license to get a cross check on them.
Next time you decide to rent or buy a property you will be better prepared to avoid these kinds of tricks that can cause loss of money and time wasted.
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